Proof That Fools Can Have a High IQ


MENSA has a social media platform exclusively for member?  Believe it or not, I’m a MENSA member, as it seems they’ll allow almost any idiot to join.  (I should warn you now; this is a lengthier blog article than is the norm for me.  However, I sincerely expect you’ll find it to be very much worth the extra few minutes of reading time).

I recently had an extended worldview exchange on the MENSA platform, and I’m sharing it with you as an exercise in demonstrating that “smart” people don’t automatically have the truth.  There are highly intelligent people who the Bible would call “fools”.  Case in point:


Fever Swamp

A Leftist Mensan wrote:

I thought joining MENSA would give me respite from the fever swamp, and my biggest disappointment with MENSA was to find the fever swamp alive and well right here.  Schools aren’t indoctrinating children with socialist values, unless you consider the values necessary to live in peace with others in society “socialist” values.  Check your propaganda folks, you’re smarter than this.  At least on paper.

Me, in response:

This is an article from Ezra Institute about the myth of neutrality which I commend to you.  It’d appear there are some foundational assumptions undergirding your comment in this thread that you might want to examine in a non-“fever swamp” way.  I hope you find the article to be at least interesting, and perhaps even compelling.


By What Standard?


Yeah Troy, you’re right about my foundational assumptions, and one of my core foundational assumptions is that if you want your kids to have a Christian worldview, you’re entitled to it, just not on my tax dollars.  If your Christian worldview means other people don’t have a right to exist, or that you have the right to impose your worldview on others, I’m definitely not accepting that.  It just doesn’t work in a pluralistic society.  I’m not sure I’m accepting the argument that the choice is between allegiance to the state or to Christ.  It appears to be a false choice to me.  I feel neither, only an allegiance to my fellow man.


Thanks for the reply.  I wonder if you’d consider a couple of your quotes from a parallel perspective:

“You want your kids to have an unbiblical worldview, you’re entitled to it, just not on my tax dollars.”

“If your unbiblical worldview means that other people don’t have a right to exist, or that you have the right to impose your worldview on others, I’m definitely not accepting that.”

The point being made here is the same one supported by the thesis of the article to which I linked earlier.  Neutrality is a myth.  Now the question becomes which viewpoint has consistent ground upon which to stand.

You wrote of “a pluralistic society.”  Is pluralism the ideal?  If so, why is it good?  And outside of a biblical worldview how can it be defended as ideal/good?  By what standard?

You wrote of “allegiance”.  People generally have many allegiances (self, family, community, institutions, state, God).  At the fundamental level, there will be a primary allegiance.  You indicate that your primary allegiance is to your fellow man.  Fair enough.  Is this a good allegiance to maintain?  By what standard would you defend the goodness of this guiding principle?

Just some thought starters for you.  I’m not necessarily expecting you to take time to write down your thoughts for me and the world to see; I’m simply offering fodder that could possibly help you (and others reading this) to noodle through the reasons for the convictions we hold, and logically test the sufficiency of our own presuppositions.


Neutrality is a Myth


Wow, Troy.  That last post really sounds like “my religion is the only one that should influence education, and I should be allowed to make this very personal decision for you and your children.  If you only ponder it long enough, I’m sure you’ll agree.”

Aren’t you lucky, that out of the more than 4,000 religions in the world, you were born into the only “right” one.  Instead of “unbiblical,” substitute Muslim, Jewish, or Zoroastrian.  Sit with it for a while.  You might then understand why most people want to maintain a separation of church and state, and think religion shouldn’t be chosen for us, and taught as if it were undisputed fact in public schools.

Personally, I think that teaching intolerance of every other belief system in the world should definitely be saved for private schools.  I can’t imagine believing myself to be such an expert in all things spiritual that I should be the one assigning everyone their beliefs, but there seem to be plenty of people with that kind of confidence.


You gleaned all that from what I wrote?  I’m impressed. 🙂  (I’m meaning to be playful, not sarcastic).  Truly, I always appreciate when people take the time to honestly share what they think.  I can tell from your shared thoughts that you, as do all people, have religious convictions – even if those convictions might be to reject certain forms of faith held by others.

I’m sure, sincerely, that you aren’t intending to suggest that your non-biblical religious commitment “is the only one that should influence education“, nor that you “should be allowed to make this very personal decision” for others, and “if you only ponder it long enough, I’m sure you’ll agree.”

I’m sure that you aren’t intending this because then you’d be guilty of what you strongly oppose.  I say all of this with the hope of showing again how the statement made earlier is simple, plain truth; neutrality is a myth.  I’ve directly quoted portions of your response not to mock, but to help highlight how very true this is – neutrality is a myth.  I’m not neutral; you’re not neutral.  No one is neutral.

Here are a couple of asides:  As a matter of clarity, I wasn’t “born into the only ‘right’ one” in the sense you likely intended.  Instead, I was born again.  And luck isn’t the reason, but rather the grace and mercy of the loving Creator of the cosmos is the reason.  As an additional matter of clarification, I am starkly opposed to Sacralism, and therefore a defender of the separation of church and state.

One final thought (which I hope will be received in a friendly manner), beware of falling into the trap of projection.  We can all be tempted to project onto others what we have going on in our own heart and mind (myself included).  It’s possible that I’m misreading some of what you intended to communicate, but if I have rightly understood your words, then it appears that the intolerance is being aimed at those who believe as I believe.  I would ask you to consider the importance of using equal scales.


Religious Convictions


Troy, the only “religious convictions” of mine that you need to be concerned with are simply this:  morality and religion are two separate things.  I have no problem with children being taught not to kill, not to steal, not to lie, and to treat the planet and the people on it with kindness and respect.

Keep your, and everyone else’s, gods out of it.  Save it for your time with your own children.  I’d prefer that you not instill the idea that good behavior, monetary donations, or some sort of worship, are done to prevent eternal damnation.  I’d also prefer that they not be taught that anyone not trying to avoid this punishment is wrong and should do exactly as they do.

If they need more motivation to be a decent person than “it’s the right thing to do”, everyone involved has failed.  Threats, and judgment of others, and bargaining send a very different message, and encourage the same in response.

That’s it.  That’s all.  I don’t feel the need to proselytize here, or to future generations.  I’d love it if nobody else did.


I apologize that I haven’t clearly expressed my thoughts.  Perhaps I’ve been too wordy.  Here’s my attempt to clean this up.

Some say they want “religious convictions” kept out of things.  Trouble is, this is impossible.  Why?  Neutrality is a myth.  We all have religious convictions.

For instance, yours involve morality claims, such as the wrongness of killing, stealing, lying, rudeness, and disrespect.  These convictions come from somewhere.  The question is where.  What is the ground for making these moral claims?  What makes them good claims?  How can one know they aren’t bad claims?

Some individuals get upset when people who accept the Bible as the ground of what’s right/true advocate for what they believe.  Yet, these same non-biblical individuals advocate for what they say is right/true without contemplating the ground for their convictions.  Often this is due to thinking they don’t have to contemplate such things because they feel their position is rooted in neutrality.  But neutral ground is a myth.  All convictions are grounded in something.  Whatever that “something” might be, not all of your neighbors will agree – so it’s not neutral.

Therefore, when you suggest that people “keep your, and everyone else’s, gods out of it“, you’re suggesting the impossible.  For me, God is the One Who created humankind in His image and then made an unfathomable sacrifice to rescue His people from their soul-crushing waywardness, so that they could then walk in gratitude toward a promised everlasting glory.

For you, your god is something else.  Whatever it is, your apparent hope is that it will provide “motivation to be a decent person“, to do “the right thing“, and avoid various kinds of failure.  These are marks of your worldview.  I am able to discern this from the words you wrote – your words of “proselytizing“, as it were.  This word is not used pejoratively; it simply means to advocate/promote a belief or course of action.  I am glad you have advocated for what you believe.  My central question remains, however.  Have you dug deep to analyze why you believe what you do?  What’s the foundation/ground for your worldview?

I’ll end there, except to address a possible misperception.  When you wrote about using “threats” and “bargaining” you might not have had me in mind.  But in case I am who you had in mind, I feel it important to share with you that this is not an accurate portrayal of my Christian faith.  The gospel does not say that our “good behavior, monetary donations, or some sort of worship, are done to prevent eternal damnation.”  It’s not about what we do, give, etc.  Rather, it’s about what Jesus does, gives, etc.  Try as we might, we can’t “avoid this punishment” of death.  Our only hope is that the Son of God entered His creation as a human and took this punishment for us as He died upon the cross.  That’s the Good News, and is why Christ’s followers are so emotionally moved to worship.

All the best to you. I have appreciated the exchange.


Who is the I AM?


Troy, you insist that my belief in not killing, lying, stealing, or otherwise doing harm “has to come from somewhere”.  Well, I guess I feel that I AM that somewhere.  I AM that source.  I’ve known many atheists and agnostics with a strong commitment to right and wrong.  Sorry, Troy, not all of them are what you would consider lapsed.  They were taught, or came to believe in, right and wrong without ever being taught that this urge comes from a god.

I’ve always had a strong sense of fair play.  It goes beyond what my parents and teachers believed/taught.  I don’t need an excuse, or any organized religion to fall back on.  There are so many modern day religions, with varying degrees of shame, blame, myth, and subjugation of groups of humans; usually women, but in caste systems, men and children, too.  All have had their laws and holy books revised over and over to suit each change in government and society with control over them.

It’s hard for me not to see it all as a complicated form of Aesop’s fables.  I don’t appreciate attempts to sell the talking fox to me, or insistence that those who don’t know, believe, and love the talking fox – even those who find it useful as an example – are eternally damned to a foxless afterlife of flame and torment.  Too many get wrapped up in examination of the fox, the grapes, or quotes from the fox, while missing the point of the story.

I don’t need or want any of that, and certainly don’t want it taught.  I also consider the assumption that any one person or group holds the ultimate truth, while all others are misguided, and must be corrected, to be incredibly arrogant.  There’s seldom room for other systems in an established religion.


Thank you for drilling down to answer the question I’ve been asking:  What is the source and standard for what you believe?  Your answer of, “I AM that somewhere.  I AM that source,” is what I would have guessed to be your honest reply.  Thank you for providing this clarity.

I hope that you can now better see how true it is that neutrality is a myth.  Someone says to you, I AM the one who gets to decide the world’s commitments “to right and wrong“.  Someone else says, “No, I Am.”  You say, “No, I AM.”  This could be okay for awhile, assuming all three agreed about what is right and what is wrong – and then none of them ever changed their mind.

But by what standard could they determine the correctness of what they “believe in“, and what’s “right and wrong“, and what should be taught?  You might say, “I AM“.  The others then say, “Sorry, but no – I AM.”  There’s a solution for this in the biblical worldview, in that Christians recognize the standard Who truly is the I AM, the Great I AM (transliterated from the Hebrew as YHWH).  In other words, the Bible teaches that the standard comes from outside of ourselves.

The Bible also teaches that the “strong sense of fair play” that you say you’ve always had actually comes from YHWH because He made you in His image.  (You’re wonderfully made, I might add).  I truly hope you hear my heart for you in this.  I’m not intending to be snarky, but rather descriptive, when I suggest to you that at best you’ve replaced “organized religion” with disorganized religion.  (The reality, however, is that Secularism, Humanism, Scientism, Darwinism, etc are far more organized than many recognize).

The fact that there’s a God gives meaning and substance to statements against the “subjugation of groups of humans“.  If everyone is their own I AM, then whatever one I AM says can be directly contradicted by another I AM.  All that exists becomes purely subjective – and yet each and every I AM wants to impose their personal standard while so often rejecting the objective standard of the one true I AM (Who is the objective standard maker because He’s the Maker of the cosmos).

I’ll end with your own words, and then two quick thought-inducing questions.  You wrote, “I also consider the assumption that any one person or group holds the ultimate truth, while all others are misguided, and must be corrected, to be incredibly arrogant.”

Is your statement one of truth that others would be misguided to reject?

Does this same standard of arrogance apply to the one who earlier in the same comment wrote, “I AM that source“?

(I’m not attempting to pick a fight. I see that you are a thinker, so I’m just attempting to offer you additional things to think about).

Not sure I’ll have time in the coming days for additional replies in this thread.  If this is the last you hear from me for awhile, I hope you experience blessing.


What Came of the Exchange?

You might wonder what impact, if any, was made by the words I wrote.  In the immediate, what I said didn’t soften the Leftist’s heart.  In her final salvo she wrote, “Troy, you’re just not going to get this.  I hope you get what you need from what you believe.  If you, or anyone else, need the threat of hellfire to keep you in line, go ahead, do your thing.  With that, I’m checking out.”

With that we reached our end, having one more example that God’s Word goes forth and, “It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”  Isaiah 55 helps us be reminded that the Lord’s ambassadors are to shower the world with the truth from Heaven, and the Truth will accomplish its purpose, with hearts either softened or hardened, eyes either opened or further closed, and minds either enlightened or more firmly committed to the darkness.  Our charge is to obediently proclaim the gospel.  The results are a matter of sovereign providence.


Many blessings to you,

Pastor Troy Skinner